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Bombay HC Directs NEGVAC To Mull Door-to-door Vaccination; Slams Centre's 'insensitivity'

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it was disheartened with Centre's insensitivity & with the Mumbai civic body for not starting door-to-door vaccination

Bombay HC, vaccination


Update at 18:20

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it was disheartened and disappointed with the Centre's insensitivity and with the Mumbai civic body for not starting door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination for senior citizens and specially-abled, bed-ridden and wheelchair-bound people. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni reiterated that the Centre needs to rethink its policy that says door-to-door inoculation drive was not possible due to various reasons, including wastage of vaccines and probability of adverse reaction to the vaccine. The HC directed chairman of the 'National Expert Group for Vaccine Administration of COVID-19' (NEGVAC) set up by the Centre to consider the issue of introducing door-to-door drive and posted the matter for further hearing on June 2.

"If the NEGVAC decides favourably to start the door- to-door drive, then the same shall be implemented without waiting for the court's order," the bench said. "We are very much disheartened with the central government. Central government officials really disappointed us. Your officials are completely insensitive. Instead of making elderly people rush to the (vaccination) centres, you (government) must reach out to them," the court said.

The court also lashed out at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for filing an affidavit saying it would start door-to-door vaccination only after the central government issues guidelines for the same. The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking a direction to the government to start door-to-door inoculation programme for senior citizens above the age of 75 and others who are unable to go to the vaccination centres. 

In a relief for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, had urged the civic body to consider a door-to-door vaccination policy for those above 75 years and differently-abled citizens to ramp up the city's COVID drive. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked BMC the chief if the new policy can be introduced by tomorrow inspite of Centre's objection to such a move. Mumbai's COVID cases are receding with the daily average below 1000 cases in the past few days.

Bombay HC: 'Introduce door-to-door policy'

The court had asked the Municipal Commissioner if BMC would formulate a door-to-door vaccination policy for elderly and disabled citizens inspite of the disinclination of the Central Government it. The HC had observed that if the civic body was willing, the court would grant permission irrespective of the Union's stand. The Centre has objected to this policy as door-to-door vaccination citing AEFI treatment, monitoring, vaccine storage & wastage.

Centre's objections are:

  • In case of any Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI), case management may not be proper and there will be a delay in reaching the health facility
  • Challenges in maintaining protocol of observation of beneficiary for 30 minutes after vaccination
  • The vaccine will be placed in and out of the Vaccine Carrier for each vaccination thereby increasing chances of contamination and exposure beyond the recommended temperature which could affect vaccine efficacy and cause AEFI
  • High vaccine wastage due to increased time going from door to door
  • Following protocols for physical distancing and infection prevention and control might not be possible during door to door campaign

Mumbai COVID cases

Ob Wednesday, Mumbai reported 1,350 new coronavirus positive cases and 57 deaths taking its overall infection tally to 6,92,239 and fatality count to 14,409, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. The city's daily COVID-19 case count surged by nearly 400 and the death toll by 13 as compared to Tuesday, when it recorded 953 cases and 44 fatalities. Mumbai currently has 29,643 active COVID-19 cases following the discharge of 4,565 patients from hospitals. The recovery count of the metropolis is now 6,46,163.

The city's recovery rate has improved to 93 per cent, it said. As 22,788 coronavirus tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the overall test count of Mumbai grew to 59,56,953.  As per the BMC update, the city's average growth rate of COVID-19 cases for the period between April May 12 and May 18 is 0.25 per cent, while the case doubling rate is 269 days. There are 78 containment zones in parts of Mumbai, where 284 buildings have been sealed to break the chain of the virus, the civic body said.

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